Office of War Information

The Office of War Information, or OWI, was a Federal agency during World War II in charge of official news about the war in the United States and abroad. The OWI was created by executive order of June 13, 1942.

Elmer Davis, the director of OWI, was authorized "to formulate and carry out, through the use of press, radio, motion picture, and other facilities, information programs designed to facilitate the development of an informed and intelligent understanding, at home and abroad, of the status and progress of the war effort, and of the war policies, activities, and aims of the government."

The OWI decided what programs were played on the radio and coordinated information campaigns and messages in the press. It also helped produce and distribute information and war-combat movies. In 1943, Congress shut down many of the OWI’s activities because the OWI was accused of spreading political propaganda. OWI tried to weaken the enemy by destroying their morale, and to encourage people living in enemy-occupied territories to resist. The OWI was closed by executive order in August 1945.

Source: Office of War Information

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